Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Joscelyn: A Tale of the Revolution >> Chapter V: Gathering of the Clans >> Page 58

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Page 58

Novel (Romance) | The Reprint Company | 1975, 1976
Transcription 5$JOSCELYN
heavier build, but less agility than Hamilton, and, perhaps, less
muscle, as he had less youth. Blows were exchanged between them,
and again Browne went down under the fist of Hamilton.
He was then rescued. By this time certain parties, among whom
Martin Joscelyn and Walter Dunbar were conspicuous, succeeded in
parting the combatants, and lifting Browne to his feet. His eyes were
bunged and blackened, and his face literally dyed in blood. They
made a way through the crowd, and hustled him out, though with
some difficulty, followed still by a crowd momently growing more
and more excited. Martin Joscelyn and two or three others, how-
ever, supported Browne to a neighboring tavern, where his wounds
were washed and dressed.
He submitted, in sullen silence, to their services. He called for
spirits, and a bottle of Jamaica rum was brought to him, of which
he drank freely. Joscelyn then left him, with the counsel not to
suffer himself again to be seen in town, but to get away at nightfall.
He grinned ghastly at them in reply, but spoke nothing; yet, long
afterwards did Martin Joscelyn remember the terrible ferocity, the
vindictive and terrible meaning which spoke, audibly enough, in that
ghastly grin of demoniac malice and suppressed rage !
He returned to the assembly just in time to hear the voice of
Walter Dunbar, and his heart sank within him. He loved Dunbar;
passionately loved his sister, Annie, and knew so much of the brother
of his somewhat anomalous moral and mental constitution that
he almost shuddered as he heard his voice ! He knew that the young
lawyer had fine talents, but it vexed him that they should be exer-
cised in a cause to which he himself was hostile to which he believed
that Walter himself was cold, if not hostile, and to which he had only
lent himself under the imperious influence of a father, whose will,
if not capacity, was far superior to that of his son. But Martin could
do nothing now. He could only listen, with all his misgivings, and,
unable to reach the side of Walter Dunbar, he made his way to that
of Stephen Joscelyn, who was sternly gazing upon the young speaker,
with a mingled expression upon his face of pity and resentment.